Becket Harney is a second year AFE student and worked as a Sustainability intern for Stonyfield, a leading dairy company in New Hampshire. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability and Minor in Inequality Studies from Cornell University.
1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your summer internship. How does it connect to your personal and professional interests?
This summer I worked with Stonyfield’s Sustainability team to assess climate impacts from various manure management strategies on organic dairy farms in the Northeast. I reviewed recent publications to quantify greenhouse gas emissions from various strategies, modeled impacts from the Stonyfield supply in Cool Farm Tool, and researched funding options for system improvements. As an AFE student specifically interested in the private sector, I greatly appreciated this opportunity to use the most recent science to evaluate a food company’s climate mitigation options.
2. How did you land your internship? (e.g., networking, found on the Block Career Center or another website, etc.)
Discussing my career interests with faculty helped make the connection with Friedman alumni at Stonyfield as this internship was being developed last spring.
3. What do you enjoy about your internship? What do you find challenging?
I loved working with a dedicated team who came from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds – it was great to be able to discuss my work and compare notes with experts in animal welfare and manufacturing sustainability. Each perspective really helped clarify the purpose of this work and I learned so much about other aspects of this field. Working remotely can present challenges to make sure you’re really getting to know people in the company – I’m glad I had an excellent manager who would frequently check in and made it easy to develop a great working relationship, but did have to work a bit harder since I wasn’t sharing an office and frequently chatting with people at lunch or during breaks.
4. What are the necessary soft and hard skills needed for your position?
I would say that organization was key for this role to make sure I could track down each citation when necessary and make sure I could compare against each of the models I ran earlier in the summer. The statistics and Agriculture Science courses I took at Friedman really prepared me to dive into dozens of academic articles and complete a review of the most recent research.
5. If you could offer one piece of internship search advice to fellow students, what would that be?
Make sure you write down any questions you have throughout your internship and follow up when possible – it may not always be possible to stop a conversation to clarify, but I found it incredibly useful in my weekly check-ins to follow up and clarify something from a previous meeting.